Sunday, 15 November 2015


As it's been cold rainy and grey, I've decided to take a quick look back at somewhere much sunnier (then) !

Just before I got the keys to the new place, work kindly sent me to Montreal, Canada  for conference. This is always a busy time, but I decided to stay on for a long weekend and meet up with family and friends in the area.It's been a long time since I've been to Canada - the best part of 15 years  and a lot has changed. Montreal's economy has clearly struggled in the interim and this lack of cashflow has definitely left it's mark on areas of the city.

As I was in the centre of the city, I couldn't resist a visit to Notre Dame Basilica in Place D'Armes Square. It is Gothic, colorful and unmissable as you walk in through the front doors. This amazing photograph by Adrian Hu gives you a sense of how you drown in color and light as you walk down towards the ornate altar at the nave of the church

At the rear of the building there is the Sacre-Coeur Chapel which is like stepping out of a kaleidescope and into an autumnal frieze. It was destroyed by arson in December 1978 and has been completely rebuilt in a modern style. I adored this winding staircase that just meandered up into heaven.

It was also the Montreal beer festival that weekend -I really couldn't pass up on the opportunity to test out some local food and drink in a sunny cheerful environment full of happy people.Firilst up was a beavertail or 'queue de castor'. its a lovely gooey doughey deep fried pastry - a lot like a doughnut - covered with a choice of sweet toppings. I tried the apple & cinnamon; as well as the chocolate and maple syrup - both divinely calorie laden treats. 

I had the chance to sample a few of the local brew - this one was light and refreshing - perfect for a sunny summers day.

 To deal with the post beer munchies I sampled 'Poutine' - a French-Canadian fast food favourite of french fries and cheese curds topped with a rich gravy. It's filling, tasty, filled with salt and really quite addictive. The curds are 'squeaky'- not made in the traditional way by weighting and pressing to release whey but by cooking and allowing to mature to develop their unique flavour and texture. 

 It is quite a heavy dish for summertime, but the queues speak to the enthusiasm the Quebecoise have for their national dish - even in the middle of the afternoon the Poutine vans had long trailing queues that stretched across the grounds with people waiting for their chosen dish & toppings. 

Lastly I'd love to introduce you to a new friend of mine - 'coons run wild in Montreal, a lot like the urban fox in London. This chap had no fear at all, running around and through the tourist to dig through bins and explore for tasty titbits for dinner.

Montreal is beautiful - and a wonderful place to visit - don't forget to say hi to Charlie, here!

No comments:

Post a Comment